Why God, why? I am not foolish enough to ask why me? The answer to why me is simple and painful, why not you? I have no super spiritual status that guarantees protection from illness and injury. I lack the required perfection that would exclude me from death and all its causes. I am not as much surprised that this could happen to me as I am caught off guard that it has happened to me. My journey seems to have lacked reason and my plight seems to be missing direction. The pain I have gone through has left me wondering, why God, why?
How much pain have I gone through?
For a long time I have understood that pain is a very difficult experience to compare or quantify. How much pain do I have? How much pain do you have? How much pain do I have in comparison to the pain you have? This question is not asked so that I can out pain you but rather to make a point. Pain is not legitimized by comparison or by trying to determine the amount. Pain is actually very personal. The amount of pain you feel is determined by your pain tolerance. Your pain tolerance is most affected by your pain experience. Your pain experience is not just the quantity but it is also the different types of pain you have endured and the duration of that pain.
Pain is only as painful as it feels.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Why would anyone think that the content of their blog should include such obvious statements as pain is only as painful as it feels?” Actually, I don’t think that the meaning contained in this statement is as obvious as one might think. How often have you heard someone talking about a painful experience and thought, “I went through that, it wasn’t that bad” or “you think that is bad, you haven’t even begun to comprehend real pain.”
Here is the problem with those thoughts. Outside of those who exaggerate their stories and the level of pain they are experiencing for attention, there are people who have extreme pain when experiencing something that we would consider not a big deal. The level of pain I feel or you feel is not equal even if it is the exact same injury or illness. Some are blessed with higher pain tolerance by design. Others have built up a higher pain tolerance by experience. Therefore, pain is only as painful as it feels.
Are you like me, searching for the answer to why God, why?
After going on and on about pain and pain tolerance you have to be wondering why I started off asking, “why God, why?” First let me add one type of pain not covered before; emotional pain. Like other types of pain, emotional pain has tolerance levels that can be built in or built up over time but unlike physical pain, emotional pain can also be buried.
Okay, back to, “Why God, Why?” I have been searching for that answer for five months now. I feel I am on the edge of a more complete understanding of why God chose the often excruciating and never ending physical pain that led to emotional pain and a small stroke. Here are some of the things that are part of my answer to the question, why God, why?
- The length, severity and amount of issues that caused the pain I went through were allowed by God based on His plan to bring me into a better understanding of Him and who He wants me to be. He is powerful enough to stop it but in His perfection He chose not to!
- God chose the best way to change my direction while preparing me for His direction.
- The severity of my pain was not created to carry out a punishment for a sin I had committed but rather the perfect way to get my attention.
- My built up pain tolerance from my long-term battle with illness makes it difficult for God to communicate with me when my closed mind requires drastic events because I consider pain a part of life.
- God will not always speak through the pain of illness and injury but may be forced to take drastic measures if I am not seeking His plan daily.
- God’s love for me is so big that He wept when I was in all this pain and yet was unwilling to let His hurt over my situation change the way He dealt with me.
- My situation is not permanent. My old and new health issues are being healed. Someday either here or in heaven they will be gone.
Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed. Hebrews 12:7-13 New English Translation (NET)
Update: My knee has shown enough improvement that physio should be enough – no surgery for the foreseeable future! My MRI came back clear and they have now ruled out a stroke – although there maybe some other brain issues yet to be assessed, this scary incident has now been diagnosed as a complex migraine because it took place bilaterally in multiple areas of the brain including speech, eyesight, memory and comprehension.